There used to be a stigma about searching for love online, but in this digital age where so many of our social interactions are now centered on the web, not only has looking for a love connection online become normal but the right tools are literally at our fingertips.
As a tantric coach specializing in self-acceptance, self love, and bringing all of one’s self into a relationship, I applaud any avenue to true, authentic love.
The rise of online dating is pointing to two important things:
-Humans are increasingly living their lives on screens and devices.
-Humans are still hungry for intimate connection and love.
Thing one makes thing two hard to do well!
There are several benefits to online dating. It’s convenient; you can do it any time of the night or day. You have access to a larger pool of potential matches and can sort out the ones that may be a waste of time more quickly. You get to control how much you share about yourself and what kinds of interactions you will respond to. You can have multiple connections going at once; if one doesn’t work, there are other people waiting in your queue…The list goes on.
But there are also several drawbacks like dishonesty, ghosting, unwanted sexual propositions, the distraction of too many choices, comparing and competition, chasing fantasies instead of building connections with real people…This list also goes on.
Many of us dive into online dating looking for a potential love match…that person who closely fits our vision of “the one” and who feels the same way about us. And there’s always that friend, or that friend of a friend, who found their life partner online, so why couldn’t that be us, right?
But this enthusiasm about finding “the one” can quickly turn into frustration, disappointment, and despair when some matches lead to someone looking for a hookup or avoiding anything too serious, and others may disappear or discontinue the connection at some point despite it seemingly “going so well.” This can turn a hopeful romantic into a strategic realist looking for the best strategies to win in the online dating field.
In the world of online dating, where first impressions can be the difference between a match and a pass, it’s too easy for fantasy to ruin the potential for a real connection.
Fantasy about who we are, fantasy about who people we are attracted to are, and fantasy about how relationships work. It’s not that fantasy is bad. It has a place in helping us create a vision for our lives. But love, intimacy, and long-term commitment cannot be built on top of a foundation of fantasy.